3. Chumley’s was a haven for the literary world

Pretty much since its opening, Chumley’s has been a haven for writers and authors. There are so many who spent time there, including but not limited to: Ernest Hemingway, Arthur Miller, Jack Kerouac, F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger, Ray Bradbury, John Steinbeck, E.E. Cummings, Edna Ferber, Eugene O’Neil, Ring Lardner and Max Eastman, according to a Chumley’s rep. This was something original owner Leland Chumley strongly encouraged, according to Borgognone.

Photo of Leland Chumley

“Leland Chumley did,” he said, of what made the bar such a sought-after spot for literary types. “He considered himself a writer and befriended other writers.”Though, according to his obituary, he would only hang them after the writer’s second visit. We’re told that there is a photo in the back room that people frequently mistake for Leland Chumley, but the only photographic portrait of Chumley is prominently displayed in a gilded frame above the mantel (though there are two illustrations of him in the front vestibule as well). 

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2 thoughts on “The Top 10 Secrets of Chumley’s, the Greenwich Village Speakeasy from 1922

  1. No, Chumley’s DID NOT coin the term “86” (eighty-six). The first known citation (in Walter Winchell’s column) came from California, and was found by me years ago. Before anyone says that Chumley’s coined “86,” shouldn’t there be one piece of documentary evidence presented?

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